Democratic Legislators Impress Crypto Miners Over Energy Consumption Concerns

A group of Democratic lawmakers led by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has asked six cryptocurrency mining companies, including Riot Blockchain, to answer questions about the impact of their operations. on the environment and the cost of electricity in the US. Individual With each company’s executives, the group asked the companies to detail how much electricity they consume, their plans to scale up, and any agreements they have with local utility companies. . They have until February 10 to respond.

Lawmakers said they were concerned about what a dramatic increase in crypto mining activity in the country would mean for the environment and consumers. Specifically, they cite a 2021 study from Cryptocurrency mining in upstate New York is estimated to have increased annual electricity bills by about $165 million for small businesses and $79 million for consumers, “with little or no benefit.” local economic interests”. They also point to the fact that the energy consumption associated with Bitcoin mining has tripled between 2019 and 2021.

Sen. Warren said: “The high energy use and carbon emissions associated with Bitcoin mining could undermine our hard work to tackle the climate crisis – not to mention the devastating effects of Bitcoin mining. harmful effects of cryptocurrency mining on the local environment and electricity prices. “We need more information about the operations of these crypto miners to understand the full range of consequences for the environment and our local communities.”

The group stopped short of suggesting possible regulatory action for the industry, but it’s clear the impact of cryptocurrencies on other parts of the economy is what lawmakers are thinking about. On January 20, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing titled “. Furthermore, US legislators have become more interested in cryptocurrencies in recent months. That was shown in December when the Senate held a hearing on .

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